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The 37th Annual Black Tie Dinner one for the record books

BBVA Compass was the presenting sponsor of last weekend’s Black Tie Dinner, the nation’s largest one night LGBTQ fundraising dinner.

The 37th annual event was held in Dallas, Texas, and featured speakers like U.S. Congressman and Senate Candidate Beto O’Rourke and actor Matt Bomer. The event was attended by 2,500 guests and while final numbers are still being tallied, the dinner consistently raises more than a million dollars going to multiple beneficiaries, all of who are engaged in the fight for equality. According to BBVA Compass Director of Corporate Responsibility and Reputation Reymundo Ocañas, supporting the Black Tie Dinner is important for a diversity driven organization like BBVA Compass.

Ocañas: Diversity and inclusion are important components of BBVA Compass’ operating model because we know they make us stronger as an organization.

“Diversity and inclusion are important components of BBVA Compass’ operating model because we know they make us stronger as an organization” he said. “By the same token, we also believe our communities are stronger when they are diverse. This is why supporting events like the Black Tie Dinner, and the work it does in the LGBTQ community across the U.S., is important to BBVA Compass.”

BBVA Compass Director of Corporate Responsibility and Reputation Reymundo Ocañas speaks at the 37th Annual Black Tie Dinner sponsored by BBVA Compass.

As part of its sponsorship, BBVA Compass provided exclusive entertainment at B4Black, the Friday night kickoff to the weekend. Emerging artist Ivory Layne played a full set for a crowd of more than 700 attendees.

Layne’s appearance made possible as a result of a partnership between BBVA Compass and AXS where the two are presenting a series of invite-only concerts featuring some of today’s top emerging artists across the bank’s footprint. The exclusive BBVA Music Sessions are part of the bank’s multiyear agreement with AEG to create one-of-a-kind opportunities for customers in the form of innovative events, concerts and brand activations. The series also builds upon the bank’s long-standing commitment to creating opportunities and positive experiences for both the clients and the various communities it serves.

“That we could leverage our work with the Music Sessions at Black Tie is what our sponsorships are meant to do,” said BBVA Compass Chief Marketing Officer Jennifer Dominiquini. “We are proud to be in the business of creating opportunities in all areas of our business, and having Ivory play at B4Black brought together two sponsorships in an excellent way.”

Using its various resources to support to the Black Tie Dinner is reflective of BBVA Compass commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workforce. Last year, it landed on DiversityInc’s 2017 national list of Top 50 Companies for Diversity, a reflection of the bank’s commitment to building a workforce and supplier pipeline that fully reflect the clients and businesses it serves.

BBVA Compass also received a perfect score of 100 percent on the 2018 Corporate Equality Index, the Human Rights Campaign’s measure of LGBTQ-inclusive policies at some of the nation’s largest workplaces. In 2016, the bank scored 90 out of 100 on the 2017 CEI — the highest of any company headquartered in Alabama.

Last month, the bank debuted the Birmingham chapter of its inaugural Business Resource Group (BRG), Women in Leadership, for eligible male and females leaders of the bank. The BRG initially debuted in Houston last year. Women in Leadership underpins the bank’s Workplace Diversity and Inclusion initiatives.

Ocañas: Our diversity and inclusion initiatives and sponsorships allow us to create opportunities for every single person inside and outside our walls.

“Our customer base and our employee base reflect the same melting pot that makes up the U.S., and our diversity and inclusion initiatives and sponsorships allow us to create opportunities for every single person inside and outside our walls,” Ocanas said. “That is what we are focused on – bringing opportunities to everybody, regardless of race, creed or orientation, and I think our support of the Black Tie Dinner, and the body of work that we’ve been honored for demonstrates that we do just that.”

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